tv Martin Bashir MSNBC January 24, 2013 1:00pm-2:00pm PST
as anybody else because she is an american. she is free, and she is equal not just in the eyes of god, but also in our own. >> look, it's true that part of unionism's problem is big unionism, buildings, lobbying, and taking members for granted, but what other group with power and money speaks for working people, for the middle class? this isn't one and that's why republicans would like to see unions dead and gone for good. time to stop patting ourselves on the back. time to stop gazing at happy demographic trends. labor's fight is our fight, is the fight for basic economic fairness. we must awaken to the reality that on every core economic principle we care about from income inequality to the war on poverty to the shrinking middle class to stagnating wages, we are losing, and the most powerful force in america for growing the middle class, unions, are being eviscerated. in the words of samuel j.
jackson, time to wake the "f" up. >> all right. >> that does it for "the cycle." martin bashir, it's all yours. >> krystal, sister, i join in supporting you every way. it's thursday, january the 24th, and what is it about the clintons that drives republicans to distraction? >> we were misled that there was supposedly protests and something spraying out of them. >> with all due respect, the fact is we had four dead americans. was it because of a protest or was it because of guys out for a walk one night who decided they would go kill some americans. what difference at this point does it make? >> with all due respect, which is one of those beltway weasel phrasing -- >> that's flat out bull [ muted ]. what did she do to save anybody. >> they were playing election politics. no doubt about it. >> this is the lance armstrong principle of when you're in traubl yell at the person asking
you the question. >> the republicans did not examine her with enough aggression. >> i would have relieved you of your post. >> madam secretary, you let the consulate become a death trap. >> it was a good way of having to get out of having to respond to me. >> i was responding to a question soledad. i probably speculated and i shouldn't have. >> the doosy-doo. we begin with a state of transition for american foreign policy as senator john kerry faces a high-stakes job interview to be the secretary of state. kerry's confirmation hearings were rather cordial hosted by the foreign relations committee which he's led for the past four years. but it was an unexpected moment when the hearings were interrupted by a protester that offered perhaps the most telling revelation about the man and the moment. >> i'm tired of my friends dying. i don't know if they're going to
be alive the next day. >> when i first came to washington and testified, i obviously was testifying as part of a group of people who came here to have their voices heard, and that is, above all, what this place is about. people measure what we do. >> kerry's confirmation hearing today comes a day after secretary hillary clinton stood her ground offering a robust defense of her handling of those attacks in benghazi that killed four americans, including ambassador chris stevens. at wednesday's long-awaited hearings on benghazi, clinton took responsibility for security lapses but that obviously was not good enough for many republicans. >> i categorically reject your answer. the american people deserve to know answers, and they certainly don't deserve false answers. >> i think when you have a united states ambassador personally warning about the situation over there, sending this cable to your office -- >> if i could, 1.43 million
cables come to the state department. they're all addressed to me. >> in her testimony delayed by more than a month for reasons of ill health, mrs. clinton gave lie to the speculation that she was avoiding the committee amply defending herself, her department, and the administration. but that didn't stop the chattering classes from the favorite parlor game called cutting down the clintons. >> she opened up crying which is part of the script. >> this anger, this outrage, i can tell you was not spontaneous. i'm telling you it was staged. this was all preplanned. they've had four months. they knew this was coming, and this was their strategy. >> typically insightful, and if senate republicans thought they would turn kerry against clinton today, not so much. >> do you basically kind of agree with hillary clinton that that's kind of yesterday's news and let's move on? >> well, senator, if you're
trying to get some daylight between me and secretary clinton that's not going to happen here today. it is very clear, were you at the briefing with the tapes? >> no. >> well, there was a briefing with tapes which we all saw, those of us who went to it, which made it crystal clear. >> that was senator kerry very diplomatically taking senator johnson to school. let's get right to our panel now. with us from washington is msnbc political analyst karen finney and michael o'hanlon of the brookings institution. good afternoon to both of you. karen, senator kerry put great emphasis today on fiscal matters as relates to u.s. foreign policy. he said, and i'm quoting him, more than ever foreign policy is economic policy. is that an answer to republicans who criticize security lapses while simultaneously slashing the state department's budget? people like rand paul who would have slashed the state department by 71%?
>> right. well, let's remember rand paul also wouldn't have voted for the 1964 voting rights act before we give anything he'd say any credence. absolutely. the other point john kerry was trying to make is when we talk about spending cuts, there are implications to those cuts, real consequences. but also we can't just retreat inside our own borders because -- particularly think about the conversation we've been having about the fiscal cliff and the debt ceiling. the american economy somebody very important to the global economy. we cannot have the kind of nonsense we've had going on in the building behind me and think that that's going to be either good foreign policy or economic policy for around the globe, not just here at home. i think he was trying to remind people we do live in a global economy. it is interconnected and that that does impact our foreign policy and our defenses. >> it clearly does. michael, the outgoing secretary of state said, and i'm quoting her, we are facing a spreading
hi hjihadist threat across nort africa. is it your view that the attack on the consulate in libya, the hostage taking at that gas plant in algeria, and the conflict in mali mean that north africa is now the main front for islamic terrorism and how does a new secretary of state confront this? >> great question. i don't know that i would say it's the main front, but it is certainly a serious front and a serious set of interlocked issues. one thing we have to debate on libya, because i've been perp x perplexed as to why the benghazi tragedy, as sad as it was, has dominated so much of the policy attention since that time, we have to focus on getting countries like libya strong enough so that they can, in fact, deal with this kind of threat on their own. i don't think any administration has gotten this issue perfect, but i think that there's a more important forward looking question which is what do we need to do to help libya get on its feet. i'm very impressed by what the
french are trying to do in mali. i wish them well. we should help them however we can. there has to be some effort. i probably still worry a little more about what's going on in pakistan and a little more about what's going on in yemen, not to mention syria, but north africa is certainly up there on the top three or four. >> but, mike, to your point, one of the things that came out of the hearings yesterday with secretary of state clinton was that america is dealing with nations whose own governments are in a shambles. and yet people like conservative chris stevens thought itthe bes way to make progress was to be there. you say we have to have relationships with these nations, but if those governments are in such a shambles, what's the alternative. how do we resolve that? >> i'm glad you raised those points. i know a lot of not only military personnel who are very brave but state department personnel who are very brave and
yet when they take risks and when a benghazi consulate is overrun, we consider that fundamentally unacceptable. it is a terrible tragedy, but it is part of the risk in this world of being in places where you need to be when situations are not always stable. now, to your point about whether all governments can be worked with or cooperated with, of course, there are some governments that just aren't even trying or are in ka hoocah against us. but in a place like libya, i think the real issue is how do we get that young government get on its feet. it's generally well-intentioned as far as i'm concerned, but it has a lot of rough edges and institutional weaknesses. if anything, we have to be more willing to send people and devote effort to libya, not less. >> karen? >> is just going to say i think part of what the secretary was talking about is why i think she referred to columbia so often. we have to rethink how we're engaging in different parts of the world. it gives us a context for what we saw in benghazi.
in the heat of the campaign we couldn't immediately give all those answers which is another thing i think she was trying to point out. we have to really rethink how are we engaging? what is the complement, whether it's defense resources, military resources, resources from the civilian world, our state department. how we do that is going to have -- we're going to have to change the way we think about that. >> mike, if john kerry does proceed to the state department as expected, he'll be working under the direction of a president who said this in his inaugural address. take a listen. >> we will show the courage to try and resolve our differences with other nations peacefully, not because we are naive about the dangers we face, but because engagement can more durably lift suspicion and fear. >> was that not a reference to iran and its nuclear aspirations? because i have read a great deal about what you said about iran and that's consistent with the
position you have taken which is we have to engage in diplomacy with this nation rather than this mentality that was expressed throughout the republican primaries which sounded like an invasion. >> well, it's a good point because, you know, if i was thinking about the speech that president obama gave, while it was very powerful and hopeful, there was one more piece that i think needed to be add fd you're thinking analytically, and that is even if that engagement fails, at least we know we tried and at least we know and the world knows where the responsibility lies. i think president obama's been good at helping orchestrate sanctions against iran because everyone recognized it was iran that stole an election from its own people. it was iran that continued to violate u.n. prohibitions against its nuclear enrichment activities, and obama managed to use his willingness to engage with iran when his hand was reached out and it was slapped back by ahmadinejad. he was then in a position to get tough with iran. so we're in this dilemma. i'm afraid engagement cannot
guarantee a happy outcome but i agree with you, obama was signaling that he's willing to go the extra mile on the diplomatic front before he has to face that stark choice about how you prevent iran from getting a nuclear weapon if iran keeps up the enraichment activi activity. >> final question to you, karen. you have worked with secretary of state hillary clinton. we didn't have the opportunity yesterday because we carried the hearings live to hear from you about how you felt she handled herself, how robust she was in her defense. >> well, you know, having been with her when she testified many years ago as first lady on health care, she did exactly then as she did yesterday, which is she knew more about the content than the people asking her the questions for the most part. i thought she did an excellent job, and i think she showed the american people why she has been one of the most effective secretaries of state this country has ever had, because she understands the policy levels at the -- policy issues at the very high level but also, you know, martin, something you and i were talking about. the people who do this work,
it's very personal to her. i don't care what rush limbaugh says. i know hillary clinton well enough to know she cares about the people who work for her. she takes that very seriously. she understands from a very personal sense the risk that people take, and so i thought she obviously did an incredible job and again, i thought she made most of those folks up there look pretty silly. >> karen finney and michael o'hanlon, thank you so much. next, a milestone for the american military. one could even call it maverick. stay with us. >> it's time to do that. the women have proven their enormous contributions they've made in iraq and afghanistan, and i support it. [ male announcer ] in blind taste tests, even ragu users chose prego. prego?! but i've been buying ragu for years. [ thinking ] i wonder what other questionable choices i've made? [ club scene music ] [ sigh of relief ] [ male announcer ] choose taste. choose prego.
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defense secretary leon panetta today declared what a decade of wars in afghanistan and iraq have made painfully clear. women are as combat ready as men. >> they're fighting and they're dying together, and the time has come for our policies to recognize that reality. >> joining us now is goldie taylor, an msnbc contributor, and david corn, d.c. bureau chief of "mother jones" magazine. welcome to you both. goldie, this new policy ends the direct ground combat exclusion for women. you are a former marine and we acknowledge and respect your service, but you've seen what's known as the brass ceiling yourself. so how important is today's announcement by the defense secretary and the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff? >> thanks for having me. the reality is women are already serving, you know, on the front line. we're already in specialties, military occupational specials known as mls attached to
infantry troops. we're military police officers. we're intelligence officers. you know, we work in jobs that certainly support the infantry and some of us are even helicopter pilots engaged in firefights. some of us have been p.o.w.s, lost limbs, given our lives in this country's stead. what we haven't been is formally recognized for that service and thus not rewarded for that service. we don't have access to many of the military leadership positions because we don't have, you know, recognition for our contribution out there on the front line. but the reality is the front line is changing. the enemy is more likely to be driving a car packed with bombs than to be marching in formation towards with you a group of bayone bayonets. as the nature of war and the nature of the enemy has changed, so then must our fighting force. over the last ten years, we've had an extreme stretch in our capacity out there. that means that more women have had to step up and be more. i think they ought to be
recognized and rewarded for that. >> i think you're absolutely right. david, some have argued this is an act of political correctness and social experimentation. but isn't this simply an acknowledgment of what goldie was just saying, women are sacrificing their lives already. if they have the guts to enlist, how can they possibly be denied the right to serve in the same way as men? >> you saw probably some of the same tweets and comments that we wrote about at "mother jones" today from our conservative friends who are all agog and aghast over this. >> i did read those, but there's no need for you to promote your own magazine at every moment. >> tucker carlson and others said, oh, my god, women in combat, showing they're completely ignorant. don't they know who tammy duckworth is? she gave her legs and now serves in the u.s. house of representatives. this is a technical correction is what happened today. women, as goldie noted, have been serving on the front lines
and in combat. they've just been prevented from serving in what is officially designated in combat roles. which means their prospects and opportunities for career advancement have been harmed compared to men. trillionly in the press conference today talking about this, general martin dempsey, the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, said that he thinks one reason -- partly one reason why there's been a problem with sexual assaults in the military is because women have been treated as second class members of that culture, and he wants them to be on equal footing and that's actually i think a bright day. it's a bright day for the military after obama got rid of don't ask don't tell, moving forward on this, making the military which represents the united states in a lot of ways, truly an equal institution. >> david, i didn't realize you were telepathic because i'm about to play what general dempsey said. here it is. >> i believe it's because we've had separate classes of military
personnel at some level. you know, it's far more complicated than that, but when you have one part of the population that is designated as warriors and another part that's designated as something else, i think that disparity begins to establish a psychology that in some cases led to that environment. >> goldie, do you agree with that? >> absolutely have to agree with that. you know, the proliferation of military rapes, assaults on women, willed soldiers, women marines, women sailors are more likely to be sexual assaulted by their own brethren than they are the enemy. that's the plain fact of the matter and many of those cases are covered up. those women are sent home and those money are dent to duty station to duty station and their careers move on. it's been a long time since a woman joined the military. women have been fighting this good fight a very, very long time.
there are relatives of mine, cousins and brothers, who are retired navy officers. they are retired air force. they served in the naef. i'm the only marine in the family. i think that says something about my mindset on this thing. my brother said that i was crazy. he's probably right about that. >> oh, you're not crazy, goldie. you're not crazy. >> i think it takes -- but i think that the criteria for me and the criteria for every woman and man who serves ought to be the same, and if a woman, if she qualifies mentally and physically to do the job, then she ought to be allowed to do the job and be paid for it. i don't think the standards ought to be changed or relaxed. i think there are some valid concerns about how we integrate troops and how we, you know, insert women into all male platoons. i think those are valid concerns. those are issues we have to work through and we have to be smart about this. >> and we have three years to do it. republicans are meeting in charlotte today, as you know. how do you think they will be reacting to a president who made
it acceptable for gay men and women in the military and now female on the front lines. newt gingrich says today the party needs to start acting happy. are they going to be happy about this development? >> newt gingrich and happy, those two ideas don't really mix easily. i think there's a lot of unhappiness and a lot of unease within -- at least the top of the republican ranks, and you have seen in the last few days governor bobby jindal, paul ryan, and john boehner give statements saying, listen, we have to move to a different place than where we are now. we have to show people we're a governing party. that basically we're not unhappy, miserable, and scary. whether they can do that or not, i don't know. boehner did get his default bill through congress yesterday through his own caucus. not with everyone voting for it but with a majority which was mildly surprising and a small step towards sanity. but whether they can go all the
what i to full-fledged sanity, well, that remains to be seen. >> david corn sounding completely optimistic about the republican party. david corn and goldie taylor, thank you so much. coming up, yes, republicans are angry at everything, and we offer some therapy just ahead. stay with us. >> folks, if beyonce lip synced at obama's inaugural, do you know what that means? if so, please wrooity in because i'd love to know why i'm so angry right now. ite in because i'd love to know why i'm so angry right now. time for the your business entrepreneur of the week. kathleen king had a successful bakery business in the hamptons but a partnership that went sour resulted in her losing it. left with a store front and a recipe, she started tate's. she now makes more than 2 million cookies a week with over $10 million in sales.
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here are today's "top lines." who are you calling crazy eyes? >> so are you ready to run against hillary clinton in 2016? >> four dead americans. what difference at this point does it make? >> you let the consulate become a death trap. >> it didn't matter how these people died? >> that's national security malpractice. >> i would have relieved of you your post. >> teflon, it's hillary clinton. >> she opened up crying. this was banana republic kind of stuff. >> i want to know more than anybody what happened. now we have to act on it or shame us on. >> was there a second singer on the grassy knolls? >> it's a foot long. different people have different size feet. we don't know whose foot their basing it on. i'm glad your focused on the important issues. >> female service members have proved their willingness to fight. >> what about in a prisoner of war situation? >> horrible things happen to men in prisoner of war situations as well. >> if we want to be there, we should be there. >> i'm not sure what happened at
the house republican retreat. >> if they attempt to annihilate the republican party, shove us into the dust bin of history. >> deep breathing exercises, soft jazz muse i can. >> we don't see this as a rejection of our principles. >> our safety net into a hammock. >> that's a pretty good description of what a hammock does. >> obama wants to turn the idea of absolutism into a dirty word. >> people are accusing me of having crazy eyes. this narrative that gun owners and second amendment activists are all right wing nut jobs. >> we believe in our right to defend ourselves and our families with semiautomatic firearm tech nothing. >> it's about freedom versus tiern tierney. >> let's get to it. we're joined by hogan gidley, former communications director on the rick santorum presidential campaign, msnbc corrector maria teresa kumar,
and msnbc contributor joy reid, who is the managing editor of thegrio.com. joy, it's a big day on capitol hill today. senator dianne feinstein introduces her bill to ban some military-style assault weapons. i think 157 types. now, this is the same bill that gun lobbyist wayne lapierre referred to as a phony piece of legislation, one that's built entirely on lies, but you tell me, is there a bigger lie in the world than the one that guns don't kill people? >> yeah, exactly. well, you know what? the problem is that unfortunately increasing in this country, people with guns kill people because there's a sort of formulation that guns don't kill people assumes guns are laying around on the ground or the carpet. the problem is in this country we have the highest rate of gun deaths in the world and in the parts of the country that listen most to the nra, namely the american south, we have the highest rate of gun deaths in the country. so there's a direct correlation between more guns, loser gun laws, and more deaths. the nra doesn't care about that
because, of course, all they care about is selling more product. they represent the product sellers which is why they oppose anything that would interrupt sales. >> right. maria, t teresa, mr. lapierre responded to the subject of background checks. >> standing in line and filling out a bunch of bureaucratic paperwork just so a grandfather can give a grandson a christmas gift. >> so, maria teresa, we all accept a grandfather has a right to give his grandson certain types of guns as a gift if he wishes, but what about the same right the child has to going to school without being hit by 11 bulletses from a military-style assault weapon. i guess that's not a absolute right in the same way, is it? >> i think he's being disingenuous with his membership. 74% of members believe in criminal background checks. recognizing that guns should not be falling into the hands of criminals and people who are mentally ill.
>> mr. lapierre says the only intention behind any legislation is to either tax the weapon or take it. that's what he says. >> well, that's what he says, but that's because what he's trying to do is spin his constituency, his membership, into believing false positives. 74% of nra members believe there should be background checks just like we expect everybody that is behind the wheel of a car to have a driver's license and make sure they're tested and they're driving responsibly. the same thing should be happening with whether or not you're a gun owner. i think that's perfectly responsible. >> and you're making perfect sense, maria teresa. hogan, the vice president spoke with guns on the internet. he said something interesting about the ban on assault weapons versus the ban on high capacity ammunition magazines. take a listen. >> i'm much less concerned, quite frankly, about what you call an assault weapon than i am
about magazines and the number of rounds that can be held in a magazine. >> hogan, given the resistance to the idea of an assault weapons ban, do you think the chances are better for passing something around the issue of high capacity ammunition magazines? >> i don't actually. i think the political reality here is if the president wants to be big and bad about this, he needs to take it through the senate and i think in the first intelligent move boehner has made in a while he punted to senate and said when the senate passes something, i will be happy to have that conversation. it put it back on the senate's shoulders. biden is talking about magazines. the question continues to be posed do we really need 30 bullets? i understand the question and i understand the political ramifications of the question, but my point is do we need a car to go 100 miles an hour? the speed limit is only 70. i don't think the government needs to be legislating necessarily the things we need and don't need. >> that's a slightly strange analogy because i can't recall a
car being used in the way that guns are to murder people in movie theaters, in schools. that's an unfair and unreasonable analogy, isn't it? >> that's true, but, look, cars kill more people a year than guns and i'll make it better for you, martin. i don't necessarily know that you need to go to barney's to buy another suit but i don't think the government should tell you you shouldn't buy one. the point is -- >> again, hogan, i don't understand because me buying a suit doesn't actually result in the murder of 20 children in an elementary school. >> no, it doesn't, i agree with you 100%. but my point is the government intrusion into what we need and what we don't need. let's talk about what we agree on and i think the president was right on a few things. oun versal background checks if the fra doesn't get on board with that we're going to be in big trouble for a long time. i think the president outlined very clearly some armed guards in school might be necessary. that's something we should talk about. the mental instability of people and their records being shared so they don't get those types of weapons.
look, if the nra would come out and say, listen, it's important to us to have responsible gun ownership. it is clear some people aren't responsible. we want to help this country and protect our citizenry by making sure irresponsible people don't get guns, it would go miles to solve this pr problem they have right now. >> that's the hope all of us have, but unfortunately, as yet, we did not hear that. >> i think hogan gidley is one of the most republican voices in the republican party and thank god for him, but the reality is you also don't need to buy a ladder but there are currently more federal regulations about the manufacture and sales of ladders than there are of guns. one of the things senator dianne feinstein said when she made her announcement this morning was that when the 1993 assault weapons ban passed, it has never been challenged, was never taken to the supreme court and overturned nor was the 1968 gun control act nor wases ban on machine guns which still stands
to this day. if then ra believed this was unconstitutional, they would challenge them. never challenged a single regulation on guns. >> real quickly, thank you, joy ab for the compliment but i'm at the rnc winter meetings. i can't go back over there right now with you giving me compliments on the air. how am i going to talk to my people over there? >> sorry. >> i feel sorry for you hogan. the cause of gun violence remains a complex issue but here is representative james langford, republican of oklahoma, and his theory of causation. have a listen. >> we overmedicate kids. quite frankly, some of the overmedication of those kids is because welfare moms want to get additional benefits and if they can put them ons si through maintenance drugs they can put them on social security disability and get a separate check. that is wrong on every single level. >> how long will it be before these guys blame welfare recipients for the outbreak of
flu or hurricane sandy? >> i mean, shame on him is what i say. because more than anything what he said is absolutely right in the sense there's disproportionate effects of gun violence in inner cities and across the border. if you want to go into communities that recognize the importance of having some sort of gun violence prevention, tough talk to those constituencies. otherwise, you're basically working out of -- without knowing exactly the repercussions that's happening in these communities. but let's talk a little bit about what's happening along the border, and the republican party's need and want to expand with the latino community as a voting bloc. along the border close to nine out of ten latinos regardless if they're republican or democrat believe we should have some sort of gun control legislation and that we need it quickly. why? because they're suffering the repercussions of right now anybody walking into -- walking in, buying a gun, not necessarily from a dealer but from a pift owner, and having no repercussions or no trail of where that gun went to. it's disgraceful that someone would blame someone that is on
welfare as the result of the violence we're incurring right now. >> your reaction? >> the reality is that in communities where there are precious few welfare people and people on welfare, young men with easy access to military assault weapons are going to movie theaters and schools and mowing down women and children. so you know what? the gun problem is universal irrespective of his opinion on the poor. >> thank you very much. i'm very grateful to all of you. coming up, the political ad you almost didn't see. stay with us. give a couple beginners a great idea, and they won't be beginners for long. they'll go to where they can get the skills, the savings, and the supplies they need - to go from beginning... to doing... to beautifully done. more saving. more doing. that's the power of the home depot. right now this shaker vanity cabinet
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secretary clinton i believe right now. i guess they will be comparing republican battle scars. what can you tell us? >> reporter: well, good afternoon, martin. it is possible that they will talk a bit about some of the heated exchanges that occurred yesterday when secretary clinton testified before those two congressional committees. but, looking this is also a pretty reflective time in the administration as secretary clinton prepares to leave. earlier today she was talking about the fact that she along with a number of people she works with have become sentimental and emotional in recent days as she prepares to leave her post as secretary of state, and there's also been some reflection here at the white house. press secretary jay carney yesterday talked about the fact that she's going to be remembered likely as one of the best secretaries of state in u.s. history. so, of course, we never get a full read out of what they discuss but i bet there will be some looking back and reflecting. >> i'm sure. the big announcement out of the executive branch today was lifting the ban on women in combat. can you tell us anything about what brought the president to make this decision or support
this decision as it were? >> well, martin, i think a number of things, talking to his defense team and also just looking at the figures, 15% of those who serve are women. a number of them who have already served on the front lines. and also there's bipartisan support for this as much as there is also opposition. remember, some senators, like senator mccain, think this is the right thing to do. i'm told in talking to officials here that president obama believes this is the right thing to do. a number of his advisers believe this is the right thing to do. this is not something that's going to be implemented overnight, of course. there's going to be a lot of thought put into what women are serving in what positions, but this is something that president obama believed certainly in consultation with his defense team was the way to move forward. >> nbc's kristin welker, thank you, kristin. next, why some on president obama's team had second thoughts on using this. stay with us. ♪ america, america god shed his
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. in retrospect, the president ace victory in 2012 seems almost inevitable. after all, on the one hand you had a truly historic figure and on the other you had an entitled millionaire whose contempt for half the population was only matched by the amount of money he's stashed away on the cayman islands. but this past election was not plain sailing for the president's campaign. michael hastings gives us the inside story of the president's re-election campaign in his new ebook "panic 2012." and we're delighted that he joins us. i've read it. it's a rip roaring read. and you say that after the first debate, even self-help guru tony robbins rang up. isn't that adding insult to
injury? >> i spoke to senior obama officials, they said every democratic hack of the last 40 years was calling up wanting to be part of the debate tomorrow and tony robbins so say what's wrong with the president? we need to give him a positive attitude. >> what did you think of that? >> i thought that moment, a, was a gift to political journalists, that denver debate. b, it said so much about who obama was. the fact that was the day he didn't feel he needed to really deliver, but more importantly to me one of the most powerful scenes in the book is the young obama staffers in chicago watching the debate unfold and being horrified because they had convinced themselves that if obama was going to lose this, it was their fault, it was on the staffers. but what they saw last night was, oh, my god, our hero let us down. they were so shocked by it. >> one of the other revelations in the book is where you talk about the fact that the president faces at least ten, ten credible threats to his safety. and i guess that explains why following the inauguration
speech when he was seen walking in washington, he was surrounded by countless numbers of agents because he literally can't do that without that level of protection. >> i mean, it makes me nervous to even talk about it. watching those scenes, i was thinking i am glad i'm not part of the secret services. it would be so anxiety provoking. and also the gun control issue. why is the president so moved by these gun massacres? because he is in the eye of the storm. there is potential violence circling him at all times. and not only do the zret service need to protect him from the real threats, terrorists, these kinds of things, but if obama -- the love for obama is so great, if he had no protection, people would literally tear off his clothes like he's justin bieber. it's incredible to see the impact he has on people. >> another fascinating detail is probably the most famous ad of the campaign. the one where you hear mitt romney performing his deeply regrettable version of "america the beautiful." you say the campaign, even the
president himself, were reluctant to use it. now, we used it relentlessly on our broadcast. why were they so reluctant? >> i think they wanted to make sure that what they were saying about mitt romney seemed respectful. so that "america the beautiful" ad, a genius ad, axelrod and another gentleman were behind it but it went up twice to obama, president obama had to sign off it twice because he was so worried about protecting the obama image, the brand. is this the message we really want to send? leave the dirty stuff sto the super pacs but should we play it again? at the end of the day they tested the ad enough that they said actually okay, this is going to work. and, man, when that thing popped, it was the perfect timing in the news cycle. all this stuff about the caymans and this and that and it kind of crystallized the entire moment. >> it was impactful. the book is filled with a lot of revelations and very revealing look at the press. you talk in the book about one member of the press of who tried
to get the president to open up to a sock puppet. honestly, did someone actually produce a sock puppet? >> a hand puppet, sock puppet. it was a puppet that looked like obama, this individual reporter worked for "the wall street journal," put the puppet on her hand and started asking the president for an interview and going like this back and forth. i refuse to do the squeaky voice on camera because i'll be forever youtubed, but it was very strange. i learned later obama said that was one of the weirdest moments i have experienced with the med media. >> we know journalists tend to like a drink. was she drunk in some way? >> i think she was 100% sober. but the presence of the obama even on the press corps, even on the people who follow him every day. when they are near him they lose their minds. they start behaving in way that is are juvenile and amateurish and they swoon. >> and, of course, you don't. >> oh, i do. i totally -- i oh, man, i first met president obama in 2006 when he was a senator. he was visiting baghdad.
>> you mentioned that. >> and i got to ask my question so i say, mr. president, this is the second time i met you. did i ask the hardball question, drones, civil liberties? no, i did not. i guess i'm not at liberty to say what i asked about but it was soft. >> typical. thank you for the admission. michael hastings and the book is called "panic 2012" a great read. thank you so much for joining us and we'll be right back. we've all had those moments. when you lost the thing you can't believe you lost. when what you just bought, just broke. or when you have a little trouble a long way from home... as an american express cardmember you can expect some help. but what you might not expect, is you can get all this with a prepaid card. spends like cash. feels like membership.
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in that time there've been some good days. and some difficult ones. but, through it all, we've persevered, supporting some of the biggest ideas in modern history. so why should our anniversary matter to you? because for 200 years, we've been helping ideas move from ambition to achievement. and the next great idea could be yours. ♪ it's time now to "clear the air." while republicans understandably felt disappointed after the president's emphatic victory in november, it is now almost 12 weeks since the election, and one might have expected them to have reached some kind of resolution. but on tuesday the hapless speaker of the house responded to the president's inaugural
address by giving a speech that was soaked in denial, delusion, and depression. first, this is how speaker boehner responded to the many issue that is the president outlined in his speech. >> given what we heard yesterday about the president's vision for his second term, it's pretty clear to me that -- it should be clear to all of you, that he knows he can't do any of that as long as the house is controlled by republicans. >> he cannot do any of that while the house is controlled by republicans. but why would anyone want to oppose every single one of the proposals that the president outlined? because this is one of the things the president said. we must harness new ideas and technology to remake our government, revamp our tax code, reform our schools, and empower our citizens with the skills they need to work harder, learn more, and reach higher. does that not sound like a vision that all americans could support?